Atlanta (84-63) at New York (71-75)

Mostly Cloudy Currently: New York, NY
Temp: 82° F
  • Game info: 7:10 pm EDT Fri Sep 16, 2005
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The NL East-leading Atlanta Braves are hoping to regain their winning ways as they face the listless New York Mets in the opener of a three-game series at Shea Stadium.

Atlanta avoided a four-game sweep at Philadelphia with a 6-4 victory on Thursday, powered by Chipper Jones’ two homers and career-high tying five RBIs.

“He’s been doing it ever since he’s been healthy,” Braves manager Bobby Cox said. “He and Andruw (Jones) have been dynamite.”

While Chipper Jones has battled through injuries that have forced him to miss more than 50 games this season, Andruw Jones has enjoyed a breakthrough year. He has a franchise-record 50 homers, the first major-league player to reach that mark since 2002, and 125 RBIs.

“I’d like to see some other guys chime in and get hot,” Chipper Jones said. “Andruw and I aren’t going to do drive in all the runs every night.”

Atlanta, six games ahead of the Phillies and Florida, hopes to continue its dominance of the Mets this season.

The Braves are 12-4 with a 2.98 ERA against the Mets this year, winning 10 of the last 12 meetings.

The Mets’ dysfunctional September continued as their sloppy defense contributed to a blown ninth-inning lead on Thursday in a 6-5 loss in 10 innings to Washington.

Cliff Floyd hit a grand slam and Jose Reyes also homered for the Mets, losers of three straight and 15 of 18.

New York fought back from a three-run deficit to take the lead, then wasted strong relief work from Shingo Takatsu and Aaron Heilman to fall to 2-12 in September.

“We can’t feel pity for ourselves, cause the opponents don’t,” losing pitcher Roberto Hernandez said. “We’re trying to beat them and they’re trying to beat us.”

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Starting Pitchers

J. Smoltz StL vs. P. Martinez Phi
14-7 Record 15-8
3.06 ERA 2.82
169 K 208
53 BB 47
1.15 WHIP 0.95